Does Sleep Deprived Eyes Affect Your Vision Long-Term?

sleep deprived eyes

Key takeaways:

  • Sleep is vital to a person’s overall health and eye health.
  • Sleep gives the eyes enough time to recover from strain and repair any damage they incur during the day.
  • Sleep deprivation can manifest in eye-related symptoms, including dry eyes, spasms, and noticeable floaters.


Does sleep help tired eyes? Given how tired-looking a sleep-deprived person’s eyes may appear, you may have a hunch that these two are connected.

Sleep is vital to everyone’s health, but with how fast-paced life has become for many, it’s easy to neglect getting a good night’s rest. However, sleep deprivation has many possible health-related repercussions, including ones that may significantly impact our vision.

Are you ready to discover how sleep affects your eye health? Read on to discover the connection between insufficient sleep and eye health problems.


The Importance of Sleep


Sleep plays a crucial role in our overall health. When you’re sleeping, your body experiences a change in function while your brain slows down — two things that promote rest and repair. It helps your mind and body feel renewed and ready to take on the next day.

How many hours of sleep are good for the eyes?

The amount of sleep a person needs varies with age, but it is usually around the same number of hours. Most adults need to sleep for at least seven to nine hours. However, teens may need more to help with their body’s development.


What Is Sleep Deprivation?


sleep deprived woman


Ideally, seven or more hours of sleep are recommended for adults. But in reality, many people don’t get enough sleep. Sometimes, this can be a short-term problem, but if sleep loss issues stay unresolved for a long time, they can increase the risk for specific health problems.

There are many reasons why people don’t get enough sleep. These reasons may range from mental health issues to the amount of work a person does during the day. A sleep disorder or physiological issue, like obstructive sleep apnea, may also impact how much sleep a person gets.

But how does this affect us?

When a person doesn’t get enough sleep, the rest and recovery the body goes through are undercut. Sleep deprivation can negatively affect concentration, cause a dip in energy, and negatively impact mood.

Other than reduced energy and impaired cognitive function, sleep deprivation may show up in different ways, one of which is by affecting vision.


How Does Sleep Affect Your Eyes?


Can a lack of sleep affect vision?

Given how much we use our eyes, it’s easy to abuse them, given their daily strain.

When you sleep, your eyes get the opportunity to rest. Your body also moves to help them recover from the strain they undergo when you’re awake. On top of this, a good night’s rest also helps deliver nutrients to your eyes while removing harmful toxins, minimizing any buildup that can cause harm.

Tear production is also amplified during a good night’s sleep. Tears play a key role in keeping your eyes and vision in tip-top shape. It helps lubricate the eyes, protecting them from foreign particles and infectious germs.

For sleep-deprived people, maintaining eye health is cut short. This removes the opportunity for the eyes to recover from strain and prevents the delivery of nutrients for healthier eyes.

It also impedes tear production. It may manifest as many eye health issues, including pain, more eye strain, and even more grave conditions like macular degeneration.


How Does Sleep Deprivation Affect Your Eyes


woman with itchy eyes


When your eyes don’t get enough rest, sleep deprivation usually manifests as physical symptoms. These symptoms usually go away after your body recovers by getting enough hours of sleep regularly. However, you may experience health issues if you consistently get insufficient sleep for a long time.

Here are some signs that you have sleep-deprived eyes.


1. Dry and Itchy Eyes


One of the many effects of sleep deprivation is having itchy and dry eyes. With insufficient sleep, the eyes don’t get enough time to repair themselves. On top of this, the production of tears is reduced, resulting in eye pain, stinging, and blurry vision.

Due to the stinging sensation you feel from dry eyes, you may tend to rub your eyes to get rid of the feeling. However, this may lead to red eyes or popped blood vessels since excessive rubbing can cause injury to your eyes.

You may also expect to have watery eyes because of your dry eyes. This is your body overcompensating for the lack of tears produced during sleep.


2. Eye Spasms


What are eye spasms? Can a lack of sleep cause eye pressure?

Do you sometimes feel pressure or twitching around your eyes out of nowhere? While it may freak you out, most of the time, eye spasms or myokymia are nothing to worry about too much. It often indicates that you are fatigued or didn’t get enough sleep.

Luckily, involuntary spasms around the eyes caused by stress, sleepless nights, and fatigue go away with a good night’s rest. If they don’t, they may indicate eye conditions that call for a visit to the doctor.


3. Higher Risk of Eye Infections


Did you know that constant sleepless nights can increase the chance of having eye infections? Sleep loss may lead to infections for two reasons.

First, your tear production goes down without a good night’s rest. Tears help flush out particles and germs that may irritate the eyes and cause infection. With fewer tears, you don’t have this layer of protection on your eyes.

Second, not having enough sleep for long periods negatively impacts your immune system’s function. It may impede and slow your body’s response to an infection while boosting inflammation.


4. Eye Floaters


Can lack of sleep cause eye floaters?

If you’ve noticed squiggles, lines, and shapes slowly crossing your vision, they’re usually nothing to worry about. Floaters are natural and are caused by how the fluids in your eyes move and change. These fluids cast shadows that may appear like the lines you see. These floaters are not a cause for alarm; you don’t need any treatment.

Usually, people don’t notice these lines and shapes. However, when you don’t get enough sleep, your body may go into a state of stress. In this state, you become more aware of more things, and your eyes focus on floaters quickly.


5. Ischemic Optic Neuropathy


The effects previously discussed in this article are usually temporary. However, sleep deprivation may also cause permanent vision loss and long-term eye conditions.

Ischemic optic neuropathy is one of the most common vision loss disorders brought about by long-term sleep deprivation. When you lack sleep, the blood going to your optic nerve may become obstructed. Because of this, oxygen doesn’t reach the nerve, resulting in damage. If unresolved, this condition may ultimately cause blindness.


How to Take Care of Your Eyes


The key to avoiding vision problems is to care for your eyes correctly. Here are some tips you can follow:


Getting Enough Sleep


how to take care of your eyes


Can sleep improve eyesight?

If you want to take care of your eyes, you must resolve the lack of sleep issue. While this may be difficult for many, there are ways to help yourself rest better at night. Here are some tips:

  • Try to avoid using gadgets or watching TV close to bedtime. These devices expose you to blue light. According to a study, blue light exposure lowers melatonin production in the body, the hormone that signals our body to sleep.
  • Avoid drinking coffee or consuming any form of caffeine later in the day. Caffeine intake is known to keep you alert and awake. A study found that consuming caffeine around 6 hours before bedtime resulted in low-quality sleep.
  • Create a great sleeping environment in your bedroom by keeping it dark and the temperature low.
  • Sleep on a schedule. Consistently following a schedule can help you get better sleep at night. According to studies, having irregular sleep may lead to poor sleep quality.


Protect Your Vision with Proper Nutrition and Eye Supplements


Getting the proper nutrients for your eyes aids in maintaining vision and better eyesight. Supplementing with the right eye vitamins and minerals beyond your diet is an excellent way to achieve this.

iGenics is an excellent supplement to take if you want to keep your eyes healthy. It’s specifically formulated to keep your eyes healthy and minimize long-term vision damage.

This supplement contains “Age-Related Eye Disease Studies” or AREDS-2 ingredients, including copper, lutein, zeaxanthin, and zinc. These natural, science-backed ingredients have been observed to protect your eyes from the vision degeneration that comes with age.

With AREDS-2 ingredients, iGenics also contains vitamins K and A, two antioxidants protecting your eyes from free-radical damage. It also contains turmeric, which serves as its “flow agent,” ensuring the supplement’s health potency isn’t diluted.


Frequently Asked Questions


Can eye problems cause sleep problems?


While it’s usually the other way around, some eye problems can also cause sleep disorders like insomnia. For example, a study published in 2004 found that patients with optic nerve disorders have a higher risk of developing pathological symptoms and daytime sleepiness.

Additionally, a 2014 study found that people with visual impairments are at double the risk of having insomnia that is unrelated to anxiety or depression.


Why are my eyes better after sleeping?


Most of the symptoms of sleep-deprived eyes are temporary and go away after a good night’s rest. Simply put, by getting enough sleep, your body and eyes get enough time to recover and heal.


Can stress also cause blurred vision?


Yes, stress can also impair and blur your vision. These symptoms may manifest differently compared to lack of sleep. However, some may be common since sleep deprivation can add to the stress and fatigue a person may experience.


Keeping Your Eyes Healthy With Rest


Many people take vision for granted, but it is one of the most important senses for functioning and easily navigating our day-to-day lives. Sleep immensely impacts overall health, including eye health.

So, to care for your eyes, it’s time to start trying to achieve a good night’s sleep. Try to start a healthy sleeping habit and see how much it can positively benefit your eye health.


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John Riedl

Simply put that’s why I’ve gone down the health journey of research and creating health brands.

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